Comox Valley voters have a terrible record of turning out to vote in municipal elections, yet who we elect to our local governments has a more direct and impactful effect on our daily lives. Let’s turn that around this year
Comox Valley voters go to the polls tomorrow, Oct. 20, to elect mayors, councillors, rural regional district directors and school board trustees.
People have said this year’s election is historic because there are so many open seats on the Courtenay and Comox councils. People have said the Courtenay election pits former council members, those who have served in the not-so-recent past, against a wave of younger newcomers anxious to make their mark on a blossoming city.
But the truth is that every election matters. Every election is important. Every municipal election has an impact on the future of our communities and the Comox Valley as a whole. Who will elect has a direct effect on our lives.
Democracy works best when everyone participates. Not everyone can run for elected office, but everyone can vote. When voters don’t turn out, they get a government that doesn’t fully represent them. Sadly, Comox Valley voters have a poor record of voting in municipal elections.
In 2014 only 31 percent of eligible voters turned out in Courtenay; 41 percent in Comox, 41 percent in Cumberland, 31 percent in Electoral area A, 27 percent in Area B and just a meager 19 percent in Area C.
Decafnation hopes more voters turn out this year. Ask your friends if they’ve voted. Tell them where to vote and when. Use social media to generate excitement about voting among your Facebook or Instagram community. Talk about the candidates today so that others might vote tomorrow.
Remember, it’s acceptable and strategic to only vote for the council candidates you really love. You don’t have to vote for six in Comox and Courtenay, or four in Cumberland.
Decafnation has recommended candidates in all but the school board races. They are pictured above, and here’s a handy list to take to the polls with you.
Courtenay: Mayor Bob Wells, Councillors Melanie McCollum, Will Cole-Hamilton, Wendy Morin, David Frisch, Doug Hillian and Deana Simpkin.
Cumberland: Mayor Leslie Baird, Councillors Jesse Ketler, Gwyn Sproule, Roger Kishi and Sean Sullivan.
Comox: Mayor Tom Diamond, Councillors Nicole Minions, Alex Bissinger, Patrick McKenna, Stephanie McGowan, Maureen Swift and Chris Haslett
Regional District: Area A, Daniel Arbour; Area B, Arzeena Hamir; and, Area C, Edwin Grieve.
Who are your favorite candidates? Whoever they are, go vote for them tomorrow.